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St. Patrick's Day, March Madness, and Steve Jobs' Liver

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the human-organs-enclosed dept.

Stats 129

Many Americans are probably rubbing their temples and wandering around with a bit of a post-St. Patrick's day hangover. Reader theodp writes with a sobering statistical consequence of traditional heavy-drinking holidays: "Keep in mind that this time of year has traditionally been very good to those awaiting organ transplants, including the late Steve Jobs, as Walter Isaacson explained in Jobs: 'By late February 2009 Jobs had secured a place on the Tennessee list (as well as the one in California), and the nervous waiting began. He was declining rapidly by the first week in March, and the waiting time was projected to be twenty-one days. 'It was dreadful,' Powell recalled. 'It didn't look like we would make it in time.' Every day became more excruciating. He moved up to third on the list by mid-March, then second, and finally first. But then days went by. The awful reality was that upcoming events like St. Patrick's Day and March Madness (Memphis was in the 2009 tournament and was a regional site) offered a greater likelihood of getting a donor because the drinking causes a spike in car accidents. Indeed, on the weekend of March 21, 2009, a young man in his mid-twenties was killed in a car crash, and his organs were made available.'"

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Fortunately for Jobs (4, Funny)

Snufu (1049644) | about 9 months ago | (#46515199)

Organ donation was open source.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (3, Funny)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 9 months ago | (#46515233)

If it were GPL, every recipient would be required to pass his organs on upon his death. And the organ would perpetually be passed on, because organs want to be free.

Actually not just the organ he received, but all his organs, because the other components require the one received. Although I guess you can argue a generic API.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#46515257)

Assuming organs could be copied of course, but that's the usual silly things you see when people try and compare code to real world objects.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 9 months ago | (#46516393)

Assuming organs could be copied of course, but that's the usual silly things you see when people try and compare code to real world objects.

Well, in this case, it's livers. And livers have a very stunning capacity of self-replication. It's quite fortunate that such a vital organ to life is so robust - it has extensive self-repair capabilities, it can regenerate missing parts, etc. That capability is often used to turn one liver into multiple (if the patients don't need full functionality immediately), or to remove cirrhosis in its early stages. (Heck, it takes a LOT to get liver cirrhosis)

Truly the liver is an organ we cannot live without, is extremely vital to all bodily functions in some way, but also includes so much in the way of self-repair that damaging it takes a lot of time and effort (e.g., alcoholic) or well pronounced liver disease.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46517043)

Pancreatic cancer is 95% deadly within 5 years pretty much at this point (I personally know two people who died of it within a year of it being found - on of the reasons it is so deadly, by the time they find it (any symptoms) usually it's too late). They *found* a spot on Jobs' pancreas, and he chose to do his "homeopathic" thing instead of letting them operate right away - he would have had a far better chance if they'd cut it out then, rather than waiting and letting it spread to his liver (and beyond).

Look up the stats on pancreatic cancer - they are particularly bleak. He lived a lot longer than he should have given his refusal of mainstream treatment.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (2)

imikem (767509) | about 9 months ago | (#46517217)

If I recall correctly, Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a less-common, and somewhat less deadly form of pancreatic cancer, which partly explains his longer survival. It also makes his choice of "treatment" more puzzling and tragic.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 9 months ago | (#46517143)

Well, in this case, it's livers. And livers have a very stunning capacity of self-replication. It's quite fortunate that such a vital organ to life is so robust - it has extensive self-repair capabilities, it can regenerate missing parts, etc. That capability is often used to turn one liver into multiple (if the patients don't need full functionality immediately), or to remove cirrhosis in its early stages. (Heck, it takes a LOT to get liver cirrhosis)

In that case, I almost think I'd like Keith Richard's liver...I mean, if it is STILL working to this day, it has to be superhuman.

God I hope he donates his body to science when he does someday, finally go. Whatever genes he has for survival need to be studied and learned from.

Lord, if we started a stem cell line from him now, we could likely have almost immortality for most of the earth!!

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 9 months ago | (#46519341)

Have you heard of Monsanto?

No, copying an organ is not possible yet. But using your own DNA and either a stem cell, scaffolding, and growth medium or a fancy 3D printer, it's likely the future of medicine. The source code is definitely not GPL, however.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (4, Interesting)

bigwheel (2238516) | about 9 months ago | (#46515381)

GPL Sounds reasonable. In order to receive organs from other donors, you must also consent to be a donor.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 9 months ago | (#46515473)

GPL Sounds reasonable. In order to receive organs from other donors, you must also consent to be a donor.

I think you may want to put in an exception for pediatric patients. And, if you allow last-minute-converts, such a rule would mostly be symbolic.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#46515949)

I think pediatric donors are covered by parental consent or lack thereof (which you could presumably gather ahead of time, exactly as you gather the parents' own consent ahead of time) and it wouldn't be terribly difficult to exclude last minute converts: the mechanisms are already in place for people to opt in, and all you'd need is opt-in date to know how recently they filed, which would allow you to either establish blanket minimums or category minimums based on how far ahead a given organ usually gives warnings of impending failure.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#46518013)

GPL Sounds reasonable. In order to receive organs from other donors, you must also consent to be a donor.

The successful donor organ will most likely come from the fit young adult who dies in a traffic accident.

Meaning a kid in his late teens or early twenties who still considers himself immortal. You won't get his consent unless you require if to obtain a driver's license, motor vehicle permit or something else he wants badly enough to sit down long enough to complete the necessary paperwork. .

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | about 9 months ago | (#46518067)

I think the needed immune-suppressants would invalidate them for donation. Cute idea regardless. Maybe only people that have been registered donors for six months can receive donations. I have no idea what kind of license that would be.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#46515339)

Organ donation was open source.

I know this is a joke, but I'm sure that there were patent royalties on many of the drugs, tests, and much of the equipment used in the treatment and that Steve Jobs probably didn't object to this cost being passed on to him.

Re:Fortunately for Jobs (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#46516225)

There is also the cost of the liver. A liver sells for about $70,000 [transplantliving.org] . It is, of course, illegal for the donor, or the donors family to receive any of that money, but the hospitals can, and do, buy and sell organs. By cutting the donors out, the hospitals not only get to keep all the money, but they raise the price by artificially restricting the supply.

Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515223)

Too bad Steve Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation the way he did his iProducts. He might have made a real difference in the world.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (3, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46515239)

As someone who respects Gates' post-wealth philanthropy, finds Apple products to be over-marketed while uninteresting technically, and loves poetic justice:

I don't think you can expect every human being in society to be personally responsible for every kind of problem that exists. There's just not enough time in your life.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515273)

if waiting was so difficult, one would think he could have done something, anything, to help other people waiting. Oh, wait, he had his, screw everyone else waiting, that is how Jobs worked.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#46515551)

AC was not talking about every problem, but about one particular problem.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46516483)

Well, yeah, but every problem is someone's particular problem.

Jobs DID promote the cause of organ donation (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515375)

How clueless you are.
He did indeed promote organ donations. Actively.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhKzyAoiTJE

http://www.tuaw.com/2010/03/19/steve-jobs-helps-push-organ-donation-legislation/

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14710654

http://www.forbes.com/sites/velocity/2010/04/20/how-steve-jobs-got-sick-got-better-and-decided-to-save-some-lives/

Need more evidence?

Re:Jobs DID promote the cause of organ donation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46518525)

"didn't promote the cause of organ donation the way he did his iProducts"

He was such a large influential figure in the media, yet I never saw anything in the news or any other media about him trying to get more people to donate organs. However, I saw much hupla over the iProducts.

Re: Jobs DID promote the cause of organ donation (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46519269)

He promoted it in the very public keynote while introducing new iProducts. How much more public should it be??? His Cali law endorsement was also all over the country in the newspapers. Again, it couldn't be more public.

It's YOUR fault, not his, that you haven't taken notice.
It was not his obligation to personally call you to inform you about the donation law promotion.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (4, Informative)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 9 months ago | (#46515391)

Other than the $52 million [news.com.au] to hospitals. He promoted organ donation heavily after receiving his much like Michael J Fox did with Parkinson's and Christopher Reeve did paralysis.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (5, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about 9 months ago | (#46517083)

Christopher Reeve did paralysis.

Christopher Reeve didn't so much as raise a finger to promote awareness of his condition.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (1)

Number42 (3443229) | about 9 months ago | (#46517213)

The joke there took a few seconds to sink in, but good one. Wish I had some mod points.

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 9 months ago | (#46518007)

As soon as I read 'finger' I was shaking my head . . . lol oh man . . . .

Re:Jobs didn't promote the cause of organ donation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46519049)

Come on, do you seriously believe that humans are composed of parts that can be switched out when they stop working? That would ruin our whole design!

Had he not waited. . . (5, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 9 months ago | (#46515245)

until the last second to begin real treatment, things might have turned out better.

Instead, Jobs abandoned common sense and reason in favor of hocus pocus, "alternative" crap which did absolutely nothing to help his condition and may in fact have contributed to its severity.

There's a reason real medicines are tested and "alternative medicine" isn't. If they weren't alternative, they would be listed as medicine, used every day and give tangible results.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515297)

Wow, you sure told that Mr. Jobs. He'll be more careful next time.

Re: Had he not waited. . . (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515317)

But what's the point in living if you can't subscribe to whatever zen yingyang bullshit your guru passes down to you. Jobs had a cult to run, you know. He had to eat the dog food, dontchaknow?

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 9 months ago | (#46515349)

To be fair to Jobs, who I personally despised as a person, he always looked at the world as he wanted it to be - not how it was. Sometimes he managed to reshape bits of it to match his 'reality.' He seemed to believe that you could will things to change and, in some respects, he was right. I wouldn't expect him to be any different regarding healthcare.

That being said, the manner in which he got his liver was unethical, and he was a terrible person.

Long live The Woz!

Re:Had he not waited. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515511)

"he always looked at the world as he wanted it to be - not how it was."

There's a name for that. It's called "schizophrenia."

Re:Had he not waited. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515613)

Schizophrenics are not known for seeing the world "as they want it to be".

The word you're looking for is "delusional".

Re:Had he not waited. . . (2)

chihowa (366380) | about 9 months ago | (#46515589)

This seems to be a common failing among people who are good at manipulating other people into doing what they want. They conflate the ability to direct other people into fulfilling their wishes with the ability to make things happen by force of will (not realizing that their "power" only applies to things that people can actually change). It's probably confounded by the legions of yes-men who surround these people and further distance them from reality.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (2)

Assmasher (456699) | about 9 months ago | (#46515635)

I agree; however, I don't think it's always a case of "yes-men" because people like Jobs can be very persuasive - although I'll admit that this type of behavior results in something equivalent to the "yes-men" syndrome. Hell, it's the basis of Scientology. People are often more than happy to be sheep, it takes the weight of responsibility off their shoulders.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 9 months ago | (#46518401)

I think someone who puts themselves on multiple transplant lists is doing a good job of seeing the world the way it is. He did do a good job of convincing people he did one thing, but he was not really doing anything of the sort.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 9 months ago | (#46518465)

Well... I think his doctor, and reality, slapped him in the face in the last two years of his life.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46519265)

the manner in which he got his liver was unethical

Why? What was unethical about the manner in which he got his liver? That he chose to go after a new liver could possibly be seen as unethical, but the manner in which he got it? I just don't see it.

And no, I am not saying it was ethical. I am simply saying it was. Not everything can be divided up into ethical/unethical. Some things fall into a third bucket.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (5, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | about 9 months ago | (#46515451)

FWIW there are plenty of herbs which do work for specific ailments or enhance certain bodily functions, but unfortunately the real benefits of a handful of herbs are associated with a whole lot of bullcrap and hype such as homeopathy (where it is claimed a "molecular imprint" becomes stronger/more effective the more you dilute it, such that there may not even be any of the specified compount present in the vial), and is also associated with the likes of anti-vaxxers.

The biggest problem with herbal remedies is there are few scientific studies done to back up the claims, and most of the herbal remedy vendors of course are probably very disinterested in backing such studies, and the homeopathy vendors (the makers of those little vials which have "30x"/"60x"/"240x"/etc. numbers on them) know what they're selling is false hope/snake oil/bullshit so they certainly would not back formalized peer-reviewed studies.

But, there are herbs (garlic for example) which can help fight certain sicknesses and lower cholesterol, herbs (ginseng) which can tweak your metabolic rate, herbs (cannabis, chaparral, milk thistle, and others) which help fight cancer (NOT as a primary treatment but in addition to chemotherapy, cyberknife/radiation, etc), herbs which can increase lactation (goats' rue, fenugreek, anise, blessed thistle, fennel), and so on. But trying to sort out the legitimate from the nonsense is difficult at best due to the lack of formalized studies; one only has anecdotes to go by.

To rely only on herbal remedies was indeed foolish in Jobs' case. As it is only 20% last beyond one year with treatment. Last week I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer - he did herbals in conjunction with chemo and lasted four and a half years after diagnosis (his prognosis was 3 months when diagnosed). He improved for a bit, then got much worse when he decided he had enough and quit all treatments (western medicine and herbal, including cannabis), then got back on after it metastasized, and then from there it was a rapid progression of the cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is no joke - people like Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Richard Wright (Pink Floyd), Luciano Pavarotti (Operatic tenor), Patrick Swayze (actor) all go to prove that all the money in the world can't save you.

I lost two friends to pancreatic cancer in the last year in a half and in both cases it was partly their fault for getting false hope and quitting treatments when their tumors were down to "almost" nothing. Please don't screw around with herbals or at minimum don't rely on just herbals - see an oncologist and maybe, just maybe you'll be among the 4% that beat it. I will always wonder if my friends could have ultimately beaten it.

Ultimately the best treatment is risk management: don't smoke, manage stress properly, eat few to no processed foods, don't overload on refined carbs, and get plenty of exercise. Preventive measures are free and far more effective than any treatment after the fact but even then it doesn't guarantee you won't get stricken with it.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#46515751)

> The biggest problem with herbal remedies is there are few scientific studies done to back up the claims

No, the real problem with herbs is that the people who advocate alternative medicine encourage people to not get proper treatment.

Steve Jobs would likely be alive today if he had undergone treatment by modern scientific medicine instead of woo bullshit.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 9 months ago | (#46516651)

> Steve Jobs would likely be alive today if he had undergone treatment by modern scientific medicine
> instead of woo bullshit.

so we should put that in the Pro-herbs collumn then?

He beat the odds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46517195)

He lived 11 years after the initial diagnosis. Most people are dead within a year or two of being diagnosed. Maybe if he had undergone barbaric treatments of mass toxins and radiation he would have died sooner. Who's to say? The fact is, he beat the odds by a long shot.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#46515903)

One thing to be aware of is that there is more than one type of pancreatic cancer. The most common type (95%) is very aggressive and by the time it is detected in most people it is too late. 5 year survival of stage 1 cases is only 12%.

The other type (5%) creates slow growing or even benign (neuroendocrine) tumors. This is what Steve Jobs had. 5-year survival of stage 1 cases is 61%.

Steve Jobs delayed treatment by going off on alternative medicine until the cancer advanced to stage IV. At that point survival rates are 15% or so.

Basically Steve committed misguided suicide. Who ever advised him in this foolish escapade should be in jail.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#46517179)

Making bad decisions and giving bad advice is not and should not be a crime, unless you are a practicing doctor or lawyer.

Jobs made his own decisions, theres no need to blame someone else as if he was not a grown man capable of doing all of the necessary research. For whatever reason people today have a really tough time with the idea of "personal responsibility"; Jobs had a responsibility to consult with medical professionals and make good decisions about his health.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#46519461)

Jobs was not merely taking advise and self treating. He was seeing quacks who were giving him treatment programs like juice fasts and acupuncture.

These people should be in jail.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46517185)

One thing to be aware of is that there is more than one type of pancreatic cancer. The most common type (95%) is very aggressive and by the time it is detected in most people it is too late. 5 year survival of stage 1 cases is only 12%.

The other type (5%) creates slow growing or even benign (neuroendocrine) tumors. This is what Steve Jobs had. 5-year survival of stage 1 cases is 61%.

Steve Jobs delayed treatment by going off on alternative medicine until the cancer advanced to stage IV. At that point survival rates are 15% or so.

Basically Steve committed misguided suicide. Who ever advised him in this foolish escapade should be in jail.

Bingo. Sad to say, but his pancreatic cancer was caught when it was "just a spot", it was at that point probably eminently treatable with a decent chance of survival. He chose, instead, to go the homeopath/herbal route, and by leaving it essentially 'untreated' for longer killed himself.

I've known a couple people that died of it within a year of diagnosis - pancreatic cancer is exceptionally tricky because it has few symptoms, and the ones it does have seem like 'upset stomach', 'digestive problem', etc... often it goes undiagnosed/unfound until it is too late/too advanced. Jobs actually was *lucky* that they found it when it was very small/minor - his own choice not to follow the best medical science knows at this point, killed him.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 9 months ago | (#46516275)

Nobody's saying that there aren't herbs that can't help. Asprin is found in a variety of natural sources. But here's the thing, the reason why Asprin isn't an "alternative medicine" is simply this: it's been subject to some double blind tests, and found to work.

That's it. That's all. The moment a mix of freshly squeezed orange juice, oregano, and that cheese-like substance you found under your toaster, gets tested (and found to work) against specific ailments it ceases to be an alternative medicine.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#46517307)

Theres also the fact that even the best herbal supplements can have nasty side effects. Even asprin can do some nasty things in the wrong circumstances.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#46517127)

One of the bigger problems youre not addressing is the assumption that if an herb has beneficial effects, then it must have no negative ones by virtue of being "herbal". Of course, this isnt true; one only has to remember that nightshade is of course completely "natural" and "herbal" and also terribly poisonous.

Some examples:
St Johns Wort [wikipedia.org] can have a number of bad drug interactions, can work poorly with folks with bi-polar disorder, and can have a number of other undesirable effects.
Pennyroyal [wikipedia.org] is apparently highly toxic, and can damage kidney and liver.

Etc etc-- see http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-... [webmd.com] . But of course people see "herbal" and think "must be good for you".

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 9 months ago | (#46519647)

Again, the lack of well-conducted peer-reviewed scientific studies. . . of course there are contraindications and many may not even be remotely suspected because there haven't been many studies, and a bunch of quacks are recommending all kinds of random herbs and ground animal parts for various ailments (both real and imagined)

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about 9 months ago | (#46515461)

Well, he chose to do differently.
His son is into cancer research. Will be interesting to see what he can come up with.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#46515545)

So, it's worth noting that the liver transplant being discussed in the summary was a success and he went on to be CEO again for the next few years, overseeing the launch of the iPad and iCloud (which it sounded like he had some major high hopes for, but which has so far come up remarkably short). He later died of pancreatic cancer, and you're quite right about him not seeking proper treatment in time.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (2)

tverbeek (457094) | about 9 months ago | (#46515823)

He fell victim to his own reality distortion field.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 9 months ago | (#46518383)

The tragedy of convincing yourself you are always the smartest person in the room.

Re:Had he not waited. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46519053)

Maybe when you run a multi-billion dollar business, rubbing noses with governments and academia on a daily basis, you'd too may prefer putting your trust in hocus, pocus and anything but "common sense and reason".

Personally, I consider any medical treatment \ medicine that wasn't in the market for at least 25 years as strictly Beta quality. Only once the patents expire and the drug is still popular, then, and only then, would I consider it as proven safe.

Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (-1, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | about 9 months ago | (#46515301)

Sometimes an innocent person gets in the way of a drunk driver, but usually drunks end up killing themselves in a variety of amusing ways. In the long run it makes society stronger because it weeds out some of the stupidity and addiction genes.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515359)

No it doesn't. It's tragic and that's about it. I made a lot of silly decisions in college, but I never drew the short straw.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 9 months ago | (#46515583)

So because you did not die because of your bad genes, you have decided that evolution must not exist?

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 9 months ago | (#46515597)

Tragic is when the drunk kills someone else , not when the drunk kills themself. And its please don't talk about drawing straws as if getting paralytically drunk is something that just happens to you rather than something you actively set out to do. Its an insult to the intelligence of everyone else who managed to stay sober enough not to do something idiotic.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 9 months ago | (#46517443)

And hey, some people are better driving drunk than others.

In many cases, practice makes perfect.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46517707)

You've never driven over a 0.08. And yes, anyone who is killed in a car accident is tragic. Let's not be barbarians and enjoy the tragedies of otherwise good people. That's for the simple minded and children.

>So because you did not die because of your bad genes, you have decided that evolution must not exist?

Nice strawman. For evolution to take place, a living being must die before it can reproduce.

Wow got some fucking holier-than-thou self-righteous people crawling from under rocks.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 9 months ago | (#46515371)

Except being drunk is actually a benefit in a car crash. You are relatively relaxed, which reduces the extent of injury.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 9 months ago | (#46515591)

So you are claiming that drunk driving is saver than sober driving?

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 9 months ago | (#46515617)

No, but being drunk in a car crash is safer than being sober in a car crash. Drunks wreck a lot more.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 9 months ago | (#46517919)

More, a drunk passenger is safer than a sober driver. Pity the intercity buses in the US disallow consumption of alcohol...

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 9 months ago | (#46518495)

I wonder if that is when actually taking into account the additional problems being drunk will cause when you are injured, bleeding out, and a surgeon is trying to save your life.

I am not sure what effect alcohol will have with blood loss and what effect it has on medication.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | about 9 months ago | (#46516417)

Except being drunk is actually a benefit in a car crash. You are relatively relaxed, which reduces the extent of injury.

This is a 'fact' that I hear quoted a lot, but for which I hear the actual relevant research cited very seldom. Not saying it's not true, but I am more than a little concerned that too much may be read into it in the retelling. Among other things, I suspect that the latter claim - specifically, a reduced risk of (musculoskeletal?) injury - is more plausible and more likely supported than the former assertion: a general, overall 'benefit'.

I'll leave aside the incidence of crashes when drunk; we'll take it as read that drunk drivers are so much more likely to be involved in a collision in the first place that it complete swamps any benefit from reduced injury severity. (There's probably also an increased risk of collision when a sober driver is distracted by drunk passengers, but we'll skip that, too.)

A study that looked just at injury severity versus 'degree of inebriation' probably tried to do an apples-to-apples comparison that controlled for things like vehicle size and speed, type of collision, and whether or not a seatbelt was worn. If there was a significant difference in seatbelt compliance between the 'drunk' and 'control' groups - that is, if the drunks were less likely to wear a seatbelt - the benefit of seatbelt-wearing would have been lost from the final analysis. (In other words, the study would have compared belted sober to belted drunk, and unbelted sober to unbelted drunk--but not looked at belted sober versus unbelted drunk.)

And then there is the post-crash treatment of injuries. Immediately after a collision, the drunk is less likely to be able to provide or effectively receive aid from his companions. Once medical personnel arrive on scene, and after transport to a hospital, the drunk is less likely to be conscious, less likely to be able to communicate problems to doctors, and less likely to be able to follow instructions or answer questions. Potential symptoms of serious injury - like altered mental state, vomiting, loss of bladder control, etc. - may be misattributed to intoxication. (These are all pretty moot in the event of relatively minor injuries, but for a severely injured patient can have a drastic effect on outcome.) Medical interventions (everything from drugs to surgery) may be less effective or more dangerous in an intoxicated patient.

All that may lead to statistically better outcomes for the drunk who suffers mild-to-moderate injuries, but worse outcomes for one with severe injuries--which is why I would put a big question mark over the claim of overall 'benefit'.

Re:Just natural selection weeding out the stupid (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46515377)

"Sometimes" is a bit too often for my taste.

Now, if we could open a "Drunk Car Racing Track", I'd be all for it.

Jobs is rich - why not do a deal for an organ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515433)

Why didn't Jobs find a compatible donor and pay the person for the organ? The person could have died, but created financial stability for those left behind. Isn't Jobs more important to the world than some failed loser no one has ever heard of? (This post brought to you by Friedrich Nietzsche and Thomas Hobbes!)

Re:Jobs is rich - why not do a deal for an organ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515477)

It's illegal to exclude the organ cartels from a transplant transaction.

Re:Jobs is rich - why not do a deal for an organ? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#46515553)

A) Doing so is entirely illegal. Good luck getting a surgeon to do the procedure with an organ that you provide.

B) There wasn't a need. He survived this incident and went on to be CEO for another couple of years. He died in 2011 from pancreatic cancer.

Re:Jobs is rich - why not do a deal for an organ? (4, Funny)

plopez (54068) | about 9 months ago | (#46515919)

Great Free Market solution! If you hadn't posted anonymously I would have given you the "Obvious Simple Common Sense Libertarian Post" Award. It is people like you who made America what it is today!

ouch my eyes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515455)

Slashdot beta is ugly and it requires lots of stupid javascript.

And the fools ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 9 months ago | (#46515575)

... feed the ghouls.

March liver season (2, Funny)

srussia (884021) | about 9 months ago | (#46515679)

Sure, the quantity is great, but the quality not so much...

People with failing organs all agree (1)

rbrander (73222) | about 9 months ago | (#46515687)

Helmet laws suck.

Don't ever wear one when riding your donorcycle.

Re:People with failing organs all agree (1)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#46516431)

It is like smoking. Sure it causes increased hospital bills, but think of how much the US saves on social security payments from those who willingly give up their life to an early death.

of course alcohol is a bit more complex. It often takes the life of those that the US has invested in, in terms of schooling, medical payments, etc, but has not received any return in the investment. As in this case, the US has probably invested the quarter million to raise the kid, then he was killed after he paid what, only a few years in taxes? Wasteful

alcoholism fries livers too (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 9 months ago | (#46515809)

So does Hep-C and Nyquil overdoes.

Too bad that liver went to the wrong person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46515831)

It pisses me off that jobs bought his way onto my states donor list. You never know it might have gone to someone who could have got more than two years out of it.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/dec/05/steve-jobs-liver-transplant-memphis/

Irony? (3, Interesting)

linear a (584575) | about 9 months ago | (#46515875)

Wouldn't you expect St. Patrick's day to *reduce* the overall number of livers available.

Re:Irony? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 9 months ago | (#46515973)

1 some folks are drunk but still have functional PARTS of a liver (plus they can provide other organs)
2 of course there are cases where the donor is the "other" guy (drunk t-bones another car and the other car has the donor inside)

Re:Irony? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#46516223)

Alcohol is slow poison.

You have to be full on 'Leaving LasVegas' drunk, all the time, to fry your liver while still young. Most 'heavy drinkers' do OK until their 40s or later. Even longer if they remember to eat some real food between binges.

There are 'do gooders' who want to fortify whino booze with all the water soluble vitamins.

Re:Irony? (1)

stoploss (2842505) | about 9 months ago | (#46517025)

There are 'do gooders' who want to fortify whino booze with all the water soluble vitamins.

This is a good plan, unless you truly are misanthropic. Adding B vitamins to alcohol would reduce the deleterious effects while not compromising the functionality of the alcohol. I doubt it would have a serious effect on the price or flavor.

I would, of course, mandate that the vitamin inclusion could not be construed as making alcohol safe for abuse (via suggestive marketing).

This is a better plan than the typical "let's increase taxes on it because we *care* (*cough*wantthemoney*cough*)" meddling public health initiatives.

Re:Irony? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#46517491)

It would affect the shelf life. If only to preserve the vitamins strength.

Also note: it will be difficult to write the laws such that normal booze doesn't have to be adulterated and expiration dated.

Re:Irony? (1)

stoploss (2842505) | about 9 months ago | (#46518729)

Don't let perfection be the enemy of good. Screw adding expiration dates, I doubt hobos are keeping their MD 20/20 in a cellar to let it age ("...I really prefer the 2008 vintage, don't you, Eustace?" said no derelict hobo ever). Even if the damn stuff ages and the vitamin strength is attenuated, some effect is better than none. So: no expiration dates.

Regardless, it's a good idea to supplement B vitamins whenever you plan to go on a bender, because it reduces hangover effects (cf. HangoverHeaven in Vegas that uses this as a remedy rather than a prophylactic).

If you really care about a discriminator function, then make it for malt liquor & fortified wine and be done with it. I however, don't taste any ill effects when the vitamins are added to a neutral spirit like vodka. In bulk I'm guessing the B vitamins would add less than a cent per bottle based on what I am paying *retail* for these.

This is something that would actually help rather than backdooring more vice tax on things that Meddlers Do Not Approve Of. If you are against this, I can only presume you are against iodizing salt, adding vitamin D to milk, etc.

Re:Irony? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#46519025)

Have you paid attention to the legislative process? After all the interests had their say, the law would be a nightmare.

There is no law mandating iodizing salt (you can find non iodized salt), not sure about the milk. Milk 'market' is a price supported, consumer subsidized, government advertised, overproducing mess of a market.

You want to hit the Bs, C and D after a bender. Booze flushes all the water solubles right out of you. As you say vitamins are cheap.

I'm guessing many bums would move away from the vitamin fortified bum wines to the next cheapest, just to avoid the vitamins. Cheap box wine has the lowest $/stumble these days, your 'fortified wine and malt liquor' heuristic will have to be adjusted. 20 years ago I worked in industrial area; even then it was common to see a couple of bums sharing a box of wine (and getting into a fight over the last cup).

Re:Irony? (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about 9 months ago | (#46516711)

Wouldn't you expect St. Patrick's day to *reduce* the overall number of livers available.

That's the magic of alcohol, my son. It can destroy one liver through chronic abuse as it makes another available via inhibition of good judgement. All hail the powers of demon rum!!

Cars? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 9 months ago | (#46516131)

Traditionally it's bikers who are the organ donors in spring.
Unfortunately the helmet laws ruined that a bit.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46516383)

Thankfully under Obama Care Steve would have been able to get the care he needed. Now mark me as flame bait shitizens

Steve Jobs' bought himself a liver.... (1)

guevera (2796207) | about 9 months ago | (#46516493)

One more reason to hate Jobs. He was able to get on the transplant list in Tennessee only because he had the money to fly out there (to a house bought just for that purpose) whenever he needed to for the various pre-op and post op appointments necessary. There are a TON of these for any organ transplant. Most people don't have the resources to do this. California is the worst place in the nation to need an organ transplant. The region Tennessee is part of is the best. Without his money, Jobs would have died waiting for a transplant -- as would most people in that position. Jobs is scum, but the fault here is America.

Re:Steve Jobs bought himself a liver.... (1)

n7ytd (230708) | about 9 months ago | (#46516823)

One more reason to hate Jobs. He was able to get on the transplant list in Tennessee only because he had the money to fly out there (to a house bought just for that purpose) whenever he needed to for the various pre-op and post op appointments necessary. There are a TON of these for any organ transplant. Most people don't have the resources to do this. California is the worst place in the nation to need an organ transplant. The region Tennessee is part of is the best. Without his money, Jobs would have died waiting for a transplant -- as would most people in that position. Jobs is scum, but the fault here is America.

And you wouldn't have done the same for yourself or a loved one, if you had the means? If you feel you need to hate a dead man you've never met, there are plenty of other reasons for Jobs to be hated. Spending his money in a successful attempt at buying himself another two years of life doesn't need to be one of them.

Re:Steve Jobs bought himself a liver.... (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#46517567)

And you wouldn't have done the same for yourself or a loved one, if you had the means?

He literally closed his post with "the fault here is America." Answering your question BEFORE you asked it. He's clearly not blaming Jobs, but the system that allowed it to happen.

Spending his money in a successful attempt at buying himself another two years of life doesn't need to be one of them.

I disagree. He took a liver that would have gone to someone else. That someone else had to wait for the next liver, in turn pushing back the next person in line, all the way down. There is a liver waiting list after all, not a surplus.

Job's pulling a liver from the queue could well be responsible for someone else's (or even multiple people's) situations deteriorating due to the extra waiting imposed on each of them.

That's bad enough, but to top it off, he refused proper early stage treatments with opting for homeopathic until he'd squandered any chance he had with conventiional treatment, and only then in a last ditch effort to survive did he snatch a liver out of the queue.

To make an analogy -- he's like a soldier entering a triage hospital full of injured and dying soldiers, and because he's shown up he gets care that someone else won't. The fact that's rich and got to buy a helicopter lift to the triage hospital of his choice is bad enough, but it turns out he'd ignored orders and all sane advice and wandered out onto the battlefield in his pajamas instead of combat gear... because it was more comfortable.

So someone *else* is probably going to die because of this.

Ignoring his doctors in favor of homeopathy for pancreatic cancer merits a darwin award; but waiting until the last second and then queue shopping a liver took it from someone who probably deserved it more.

Re:Steve Jobs bought himself a liver.... (1)

n7ytd (230708) | about 9 months ago | (#46517883)

Yes, his post was closed with "the fault here is America", but the post titled "Steve Jobs bought himself a liver" started with "One more reason to hate Jobs."

You raise a good point with the fact that Jobs squandered valuable treatment time with his homeopathic herbal horseshit.

As far as I've read, the shenanigans that he employed to be put on the transplant list in Tennessee consisted of qualifying himself as a Tennessee resident, certainly after unleashing an army of minions to figure out that the list was shortest in Tennessee.

But the fact remains that he got on the list, legally. To say that someone else deserved the liver he got more is up for argument, but by whose standard do we make that call? In an ideal world we give organ transplants to the most deserving first. One could argue that his providing jobs for thousands of people and using his pulpit as a public figure to evangelize the need for organ donors provided more good for society as a whole. If it were my son on the transplant list and some rich bugger bought his way in before us, sure I'd be pissed. But if I were the rich bugger, you bet I'd try to buy our way onto a shorter list.

I never met the guy and my impression of him is a greedy SOB, but I can't hate him because he threw money towards trying to save his life. He worked the system just like anyone else could have, if they had the resources.

Re:Steve Jobs' bought himself a liver.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46518849)

Wow. I disliked Jobs simply because I feel like he held back healthy, long-term, computer technology development by setting so many people on a "propriatory software is good" track. I could be wrong here; this is just my feeling.

Still. If he paid all this money to get on a good transplant list, good for him! If this story conjures up any anger at all, it should be directed at the people that are blocking a free market in human organs.

Marijuana kills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46516585)

See? If that kid had been smoking pot instead of drinking, Steve Jobs would have gotten that transplant!

He had a huge role in his own death (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 9 months ago | (#46517345)

Being the hippie that he was he ignored all attempts to get him on 'western' medicine to treat his known cancer for more than 8 months, preferring instead to treat it with fruit diets and whatnot. When that clearly has no effect it was very much too late. Oh well.

Sure it was (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 9 months ago | (#46517353)

on the weekend of March 21, 2009, a young man in his mid-twenties was killed in a car crash, and his organs were made available.

Accident. Sure it was.

Just make organ donation the default (2)

dwheeler (321049) | about 9 months ago | (#46518791)

One big improvement would be to make organ donation the *default* when obtaining a driver's license in the US. That way, people could opt out, but most people just "accept the default"... and then far more organs would be available to save the living.
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